Students engage in service, community through First CLAS


Megan Ditore, News editor

First CLAS at Linfield is a week-long leadership and service-learning pre-orientation program for new students that is centered around Community, Leadership, Action and Service through service projects with local non-profit organizations.

Throughout the week students learn valuable leadership skills and discover resources that both McMinnville and Linfield have to offer.

Through First CLAS, students were able to start making friends, engage in community service, learn leadership roles and were introduced to opportunities both on and off campus.

Alexis Kron ’19 was an assistant leader for the First CLAS program this year. She got involved after having a great time as a participant her freshman year.

“I owe a lot of my success to the skills and connections I gained through First CLAS. I wanted to have a positive impact on incoming freshman through helping them with their transition into college.”

As an assistant leader, Kron “bounced between six small groups of participants as we engaged in activities and workshops designed to help us grow as leaders and community members.”

Students used the skills and knowledge that they learned to apply them to service learning projects within the McMinnville community such as YCAP’s food bank, Juliette’s House and more.

This year, one group in First CLAS did three different service projects.

First they helped clean the McMinnville Library. Alex Jensen ’20, said, “This saved 40-50 hours of work for the staff.”

First CLAS also expanded trails in the Miller woods. The trail will not have to be worked on again for two years.

For their last service project they went to a food bank where they spent the day packing and bagging beans.

“By us doing that we gave over 5,000 dinners for people in need of food,” Jensen said.

Jensen recommends students doing First CLAS because it allows you to meet people with similar interests.

“We are all there to help people and build on our leadership skills. We were able to discuss similar things. We grew very close and connected because we believe in service and community work.”

Kron said that over all, the program went great this year. “The participants worked so hard during our service projects and we were able to do work in our community that will directly benefit around 20,000 people.”